The right to appeal is purely statutory. Code of Civil Procedure section 902 defines who may appeal from a judgment. The statute provides that “any party aggrieved” may appeal from an adverse judgment. The test is twofold. One must be both: 1) a party of record to the action; and 2) aggrieved — to have standing to appeal. Thus, notwithstanding an appealable judgment or order, an appeal may be taken only by a party who has standing to appeal. Standing is a jurisdictional requirement and cannot be waived.
One is considered aggrieved whose rights or interests are injuriously affected by the order or judgment in an immediate and substantial way, and not as a nominal or remote consequence of the decision. [See, In re K.C.] Conversely, a party who is not aggrieved by an order or judgment has no standing to attack it on appeal. Injurious effect on another party is insufficient to give rise to appellate standing. Appellate courts provide relief for appellants who have been wronged by trial court error – not for appellants that have suffered no wrong but instead seek to advance the interests of others who have not complained.
These jurisdictional principals were discussed and affirmed in Conservatorship of Gregory D when a mother sought to appeal an order of the probate court concerning administration of the conservatorship of her adult son Gregory. The mother was not the conservator. Her sole status as Gregory’s mother did not confer standing for her to appeal on his behalf, although she was a party to the underlying probate court proceedings.
The mother’s assignment of error failed to identify any of her own rights or interests which were injuriously affected by the probate court’s order. Her assignments of error pertained solely to alleged deprivations of Gregory’s rights. Gregory’s mother, therefore, lacked standing to assert error that injuriously affected only her adult son Gregory, a nonappealing party.
Tip: Three basic requirements must be met before the appellate court has jurisdiction to rule in your favor: 1) the filing of a timely notice of appeal; 2) an appealable order or judgment; 3) standing. You must have all three or your appeal will be dismissed for lack of jurisdiction.
I consult with clients and accept cases involving appeals, including appellate procedural issues such as jurisdiction. For other types of cases I accept, consult the My Practice page. If you are seeking a legal consult or representation, please give me a call at 818.971.9409. – Michael Daymude